Northern Ireland news

Co Down-born woman who died suddenly in the US 'brought love, laughter and light to this world'

Co Down woman Therese Curran (right) pictured with her wife Sharon Mylrea
Marie Louise McConville

A Co Down-born woman who died suddenly in the US as a result of a "tragic fall" has been described as bringing "love, laughter and light to this world".

Therese Curran, who was originally from Newry, died aged 51 on January 8 in Chicago.

A former pupil of Our Lady's Grammar School, she graduated from Queen's University, Belfast with a degree in geography and completed a diploma in administrative management.

She also spent time performing with the Ulster Youth Theatre in the 1980s.

Ms Curran emigrated to America on an Irish lottery visa and had a variety of jobs, including as an administrator at Loyola University.

She later joined the University of Wisconsin Department of Medicine as a program assistant for the heart failure and transplant department.

In 2014, she married her partner of 14 years, Sharon Mylrea.

An obituary published by the Cremation Society of Illinois described Ms Curran as a "burning star" who "brought love, laughter and light to this world".

"Her spirit was jovial and brilliant, serious and empathetic, selfless and kind. Her eyes would connect with you. You would smile when she entered and miss her when she left the room," it said.

"Therese loved family and friends. She made you feel good: laugh, live and love a little more. She understood all people were equal, no matter what station in life. She had great wisdom and intuition".

Ms Curran's sudden passing was described as "unfair, absurd, cruel".

"Therese would want us to celebrate her life... turn your tears to laughter, fill the void and silence with joy and memories of good times. We can do that by living in her foot steps: give a little more, say a little less, listen a little closer, give to give, love a little more, laugh a little harder, put family and friends before everything".

Our Lady's Grammar School in Newry also paid tribute to Ms Curran on Facebook.

"We are saddened to learn of the sudden death of our past pupil Therese Curran, as a result of an accident in Chicago," the school said.

"Therese, who left Our Lady's in 1985, is fondly remembered by her many OLS connections and we ask you to keep all her friends and family in your thoughts at this difficult time".

Requiem Mass for Ms Curran will take place at noon today at St Mary's Church, Glassdrumman.

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